There are so many books and articles written on startups and how to make them successful, but there is nothing more inspiring than hearing a real story from a real person who actually DID IT!
I was lucky to meet Maria Renhui Zhang, Founder & CEO – Propeld Inc. (D.B.A. Alike) who shared her story at Women 2.0 Founder Friday and proved that female founders in tech startups can reach the very top!
Yes, a woman, in tech, and the only founder of a startup. Just imagine what it should have been like! Now already with a smile on her face, Maria recalls all those times when she had to hear a question: ‘Who is your technical co-founder?’ which she confidently answered: “I AM the tech founder of this startup!”
Currently Maria is one of the most successful women in tech (working at Yahoo! Mobile after they acquired Alike), and she shared her recipe on making your startup a success. It’s very simple, just five components – PIIPE. Here we go!
PASSION – always on the first place. There are many ideas in the air, but whatever you choose to work on, it should solve a customer’s pain point. It should be the pain point that you face every day and can’t live with it. Focus and put all of your efforts on solving it. If you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
INTELLIGENCE – of course, bare idea is not enough. You need skills and resources to turn your idea into reality. Find skills and resources. Somebody wise once said: “When passion and skill work together, the end result is often a masterpiece.”
INTEGRITY – don’t be afraid to fail. You’d be surprised, but VCs are actually ready to invest into people who failed because you learn much from failures than you learn from success. Whereas failure is good for entrepreneurial learning, there is no recovery from a failure of integrity. If lose your integrity, you are failed forever.
PERSEVERANCE – keep going. Being a founder of a startup is sometimes a very lonely place. There is not always someone out there to pick you up when you fall. Doesn’t matter. Keep going.
ENERGY – this is what gets you from here to there. How do you keep your energy level always high? It’s simple, when you are passionate about something you feel more energized, which brings us to the very first point.
So, PIIPE. That’s it. Good luck!